John and Susan Collins Historic Preservation Scholarship

Established to Support Outstanding Students in the Field of Historic Preservation

The committee is now seeking applications for the 2024-25 academic year.

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be admitted to and actively enrolled full-time in a Historic Preservation graduate program with an academic focus on preservation of the built environment.
  • Have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Candidates must provide:

  • Letter of acceptance or proof of enrollment from chosen graduate program. Note: Students from all Historic Preservation graduate programs are encouraged to apply, however, preference may be given to students enrolled at Ball State University, Boston University, and Eastern Michigan University.
  • Current professional experience, volunteer history, and/or a portfolio or resume
    highlighting any relevant experiences and projects
  • Academic transcripts
  • Contact information for two references, including email address and phone number

In addition, candidates must submit a two-page essay that includes discussion of:

  • What drew you to the field of Historic Preservation and what are your career goals?
  • What is your favorite historic building and why?

Eligible candidates will compile and submit all necessary materials through the Marshall Community Foundation application process below. Deadline is May 1.

Nominees may be asked to interview virtually with the scholarship committee.

For the 2024-2025 academic year, it is anticipated that scholarships will range from $10,000 to $20,000 per student.

The one-time scholarship award may not exceed the amount recipient owes in tuition and fees but may be expendable over two academic years if the recipient maintains good standing as outlined above. A letter from the recipient’s academic chair or advisor stating such is required.

Funding could be implemented for academic expenses in the summer of 2024, if applicable.

John & Susan Collins were a husband-and-wife team of 27 years who were passionate about historic preservation in their adopted home of Marshall, Michigan. John grew up in Boston, MA, served in WWII, and graduated from Boston University. He focused his life on journalism and public relations and landed in Michigan as the VP of PR for the Eaton Corporation plant in Marshall, where his job was to bring national attention to the city and its history. Susan (Jones) Collins grew up in Indiana and graduated from Purdue University, eventually landing in Michigan where she was a computer engineer with Honeywell Corporation in Detroit but chose to live in Marshall because of its historic charm.

Both served as presidents of the Michigan Historical Society and the Marshall Rotary Club, and as board members of the Marshall Historical Society. John toured the country promoting historic preservation and the city of Marshall’s efforts to revitalize its hundreds of 19th century homes, while Susan co-chaired committees to designate Marshall a National Historic Landmark District and to run the annual Marshall Historic Home Tour. Both John and Susan created and led various historical and architectural walking tours over their decades of service to Marshall.

Prior to John’s death in 2004, they formed the scholarship, and after Susan’s death in 2020, it was fully funded. They established the scholarship to assist students seeking graduate degrees in historic preservation in their home states of Massachusetts and Indiana and their adopted home of Michigan, with a preference for those interested in using those skills post-graduation for work in those same states